Hayley Elizabeth Atwell is an English actress. She is best known for her work in stage productions such as A View from the Bridge, and in films such as Cassandra’s Dream, The Duchess, The Pillars of the Earth, and for her portrayal of Peggy Carter in various Marvel Cinematic…
Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Captain America: The First Avenger, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, Cinderella, Agent Carter, The Duchess, The Sweeney, Brideshead Revisited, Cassandra’s Dream, Testament of Youth, Jimi: All Is by My Side, How About You, The Line of Beauty, I, Anna, Mansfield P…
Agent Carter, Any Human Heart, The Prisoner, The Pillars of the Earth, Black Mirror, Conviction, Sally Lockhart Series
[on Alexi Kaye Campbell’s play “The Pride”] They are two scenes that are either side of the sexual revolution, and two very different ways that society deals with homosexuality. In 1958, it was still illegal and then in 2013, we’ve just had this wonderful milestone of legalising gay marriage. So it’s about how society shapes gay identity and it explores the idea of a subculture which society has imposed upon the gay community, one of promiscuity, and it says there is another side which is about intimacy and love between two people.
The scary thing is what that will do to a generation of young people [in Russia] who are having these thoughts and feelings towards members of their own sex but they’re given no reference point that this is OK. This is just part of who they are and I think you’ll get a lost generation of children growing up feeling that their country is telling them that this fundamental aspect of who they are is wrong. It’s incredibly troubling because it’s happening, not just in Russia, but in countries like Georgia and Cameroon and the statistics in this country of homophobic attacks is frightening.
We heard about the protest in Whitehall in support of Russian gay rights and we went along and it was very moving and we felt it was very positive.
I think it will be a balance of creative and commercial choices, going forward. People say critical acclaim and box office success don’t go hand in hand and that may be true but I don’t really think I’d live much on the salary of a full-time theatre actor. I mean, I could, but I really like going out to dinner…
[on her character in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)] Peggy was in a position where if she was a damsel in distress, she wouldn’t be of that position. And when she says, “I know what it’s like to have a few doors slammed in my face,” I think because she’s this attractive woman who’s beautifully made up, she had to fight a little bit harder to get where she is to prove that she’s capable. And I think that’s great because there’s a kindred spirit between her and Steve, there’s an equality about them and I love that.
[on Brideshead Revisited (2008)] What attracted me was I loved the vivid characters that had obviously come from a very rich novel and Jeremy Brock and Andrew Davies had put that into the script. The character definitions and the stage directions were very rich and as rich as the dialogue so I felt that there was a hell of a lot of passion behind it. I’m attracted to flawed characters. I think they’re really interesting to play. I was really intrigued who this enigmatic Julia was and what was bubbling and going on beneath the surface. So it was probably that.
My first job was a Greek tragedy, and ever since, one job just seemed to roll onto the next. I’ve been terribly lucky.
Nude scenes can be very liberating. I feel very human. This is me, with all my little imperfections.
Shares a birthday with her Cinderella co-star Lily James who is only 7 years her junior, coincidentally both actresses are alumnus from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Can do ventriloquism with her mouth closed.
Is an only child.
Daughter of Grant Atwell, from Missouri, and Allison Cain, from London. Her parents separated when she was 2-years-old.
Is of dual British and American citizenship.
Although she played Lily James‘s mother in Cinderella (2015), she is only seven years her senior in real life.